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How Real is Unreal? Virtual Reality and the Impact of Visual Imagery on the Experience of Exercise-Induced Pain

Matsangidou, Maria, Ang, Chee Siang, Mauger, Lex, Otkhmezuri, Boris, Tabbaa, Luma (2017) How Real is Unreal? Virtual Reality and the Impact of Visual Imagery on the Experience of Exercise-Induced Pain. In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2017. 10516. Springer ISBN 978-3-319-68058-3. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-68059-0_18) (KAR id:61751)

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As a consequence of prolonged muscle contraction, acute pain arises during exercise due to a build-up of noxious biochemicals in and around the muscle. Specific visual cues, e.g., the size of the object in weight lifting exercises, may reduce acute pain experienced during exercise. In this study, we examined how Virtual Reality (VR) can facilitate this “material-weight illusion”, influencing perception of task difficulty, which may reduce perceived pain. We found that when vision understated the real weight, the time to exhaustion was 2 minutes longer. Furthermore, participants’ heart rate was significantly lower by 5-7 bpm in the understated session. We concluded that visual-proprioceptive information modulated the individual’s willingness to continue to exercise for longer, primarily by reducing the intensity of negative perceptions of pain and effort associated with exercise. This result could inform the design of VR aimed at increasing the level of physical activity and thus a healthier lifestyle.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Proceeding)
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/978-3-319-68059-0_18
Uncontrolled keywords: Pain, Exercise · Virtual Reality · Material-Weight Illusions · Body Representation
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Depositing User: Jim Ang
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 08:03 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 13:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ang, Chee Siang:
Mauger, Lex:
Tabbaa, Luma:
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